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FAST vs. AVOD: Definitions, Differences, and Benefits



Online media consumption is increasingly popular for its availability and engaging on-demand content. Viewers can choose ad-based services that usually don’t charge any fee or purchase a subscription to an ad-free streaming service.

The price for online streaming platforms is lower than the cost of cable television. For this reason, viewers cut the cord to switch to streaming services. Moreover, they can acquire several subscriptions, having a wider range of original content to enjoy whenever they want.

Subscription-based streaming services are permanently in demand, and the appetite for ad-based platforms is growing. Companies recognized the potential of AVOD and FAST streaming services. So, let’s explore them in detail.

What is AVOD?

AVOD (Advertising-based Video-on-Demand) platforms usually offer content for free. But viewers watch ad commercials during the video playback.

There are three parties involved when it comes to AVOD platforms. The ad-based streaming services are popular among viewers because they offer varied content without payment, and people don’t mind watching commercials during playback.

Since the demand for AVOD streaming services is high, businesses launch their ad-based platforms, generating revenue by running ads on videos. And advertisers reach customers via streaming platforms.

Additionally, commercials can be personalized based on information about customers. For example, providers can configure ad targeting, taking into account user demographics.

According to Coherent Market Insights, the global AVOD services market is estimated to be valued at $28 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $71,16 billion by 2030.

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What is FAST?

FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming TV) channels allow viewers to watch TV shows and movies for free. They also include ads that interrupt the video playback.

Businesses also make revenue from advertisements. Companies pay so that their commercials are shown to viewers. These ads play at certain intervals during the program.

According to experts, the global revenue from TV series and movies distributed on FAST platforms will reach $18 billion in 2028. That is from $6 billion generated in 2022. Other reports point out that the number of FAST channels in the US increased by 81% in the last year.

What is the Difference Between FAST and AVOD?

It seems like FAST and AVOD are the same, but what is the difference then?

Both services will leverage advertising to monetize content, with viewers not paying for access to video content.

While AVOD platforms offer on-demand content, FAST channels combine the experience of traditional TV broadcasting and streaming via IPTV/OTT. FAST channels bring the scheduled programming to the table with commercials inserted into breakpoints.

What are the Benefits of AVOD and FAST?

Both AVOD and FAST allow content providers to generate revenue from advertising, making videos accessible to viewers for free. Consequently, viewers don’t need to register and leave their credentials.

Providers may opt for SSAI (server-side ad insertion), which ensures higher ad fill rates and increased revenue generation. SSAI helps content creators avoid ad blockers, saving money and resources.

AVOD platforms give viewers control over their content consumption, allowing them to watch whatever they want. FAST channels, in turn, offer a more relaxed experience as people have to make fewer decisions.

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Final Thoughts

AVOD and FAST platforms are clearly in demand among viewers, offering free content. People don’t pay for access to videos but watch ad commercials during video playback. Advertising is the monetization model of such services. However, the AVOD model can be combined with subscriptions or rentals, as many streaming platforms do. And the researchers predict the growth of both types of services.


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